USA, Washington DC, Capitol Building, Low angle view of columns

Administration to Institute “Parole in Place” for Spouses, Streamline H-1B Process for DREAMers. On June 18, 2024, President Biden announced two new policies intended to streamline the paths to both legal status and work authorization for certain undocumented noncitizens. While no formal implementing orders or regulations have followed, the announcement covers the following situations:

  • First, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow certain undocumented noncitizens married to U.S. citizens to apply for lawful permanent residence without having to leave the country, as they are currently required to do. This is called “parole in place.” According to the White House, “[i]n order to be eligible, noncitizens must—as of June 17, 2024—have resided in the United States for 10 or more years and be legally married to a U.S. citizen, while satisfying all applicable legal requirements.” According to the White House, this new policy “will protect approximately half a million spouses of U.S. citizens, and approximately 50,000 noncitizen children under the age of 21 whose parent is married to a U.S. citizen.”
  • Second, the U.S. Department of State and DHS will provide guidance to facilitate and streamline the D-3 waiver process by which DACA recipients and DREAMers can apply for and receive an H-1B visa.

The Buzz will have more as the formal legal processes to implement these policy changes unfold.

Overtime Changes Looming. Late last week, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), along with thirty Republican colleagues, introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution to rescind the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule. Even if the resolution can make it through Congress before the July 1, 2024, initial implementation phase takes effect, President Biden will assuredly veto the measure. Meanwhile, in the face of the looming implementation date, business groups are asking the DOL to stay the July 1 effective date pending various legal challenges to the rule. The request notes that a stay would be of minor consequence to the DOL, but it would help employers and employees avoid the costs and hassle of taking steps to comply with the new rule, only to have the rule subsequently invalidated in federal court.

EEOC Offers Anti-Harassment Best Practices for Construction Employers. This week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a document, entitled, “Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Construction Industry.” The document “identifies promising practices for industry leaders to help prevent and address harassment in the construction industry.” The Commission identifies five core principles for preventing and addressing harassment in the industry:

  • Committed and engaged leadership (examples include sitewide training, worker surveys, and subcontractor monitoring);
  • Consistent and demonstrated accountability;
  • Strong and comprehensive harassment policies (that are clearly communicated, accessible, and up to date);
  • Trusted and accessible complaint procedures (with multiple channels in multiple languages); and
  • Regular, interactive training tailored to the audience and the organization.

House Committee Approves Student Athlete Bill. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce has voted to advance the Protecting Student Athletes’ Economic Freedom Act. As the Buzz recently profiled, the bill would prohibit college athletes from being “considered an employee of an institution, conference, or association.”

Republicans Introduce Bill to Eliminate DEI Programs in the Federal Government. Republicans in the U.S. Senate and House have introduced the Dismantle DEI Act of 2024. According to an accompanying press release, the bill would “eliminate all federal diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and funding for federal agencies, contractors, organizations, and educational accreditation agencies that receive federal funding and maintain DEI programs.” Federal contractors should be aware that the bill would prohibit the federal government from entering into contracts with entities that operate DEI programs. Additionally, the bill would rescind a series of DEI-related executive orders and require the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget to rescind regulations, policies, procedures, guidance, etc., developed to implement those executive orders. The bill would also shutter federal agency DEI offices and adjust federal performance appraisal protocols and training programs. Though the bill is unlikely to gain much ground in the Democratic-controlled Senate, it could receive attention if the Republicans gain control of Congress following the November 2024 elections.

SHT Happens on Capitol Hill. On June 17, 2024, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the NO Stool in Herds’ Troughs (NO SHT) Act, which would prohibit large-scale farming operations from intentionally adding animal excrement to livestock feed. Readers might be wondering why a senator from New Jersey has an interest in regulating commercial farms. There could be two reasons for this. First, New Jersey is the Garden State, after all. Second, perhaps it is just a senator doing his duty.


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Governmental Affairs

Ogletree Governmental Affairs, Inc. (OGA), a subsidiary of Ogletree Deakins, is a full service legislative and regulatory affairs consulting firm, dedicated to helping clients solve their problems with the public sector. OGA unites the skills and experience of government relations professionals with the talent of the Firm’s lawyers to provide solutions to regulatory issues outside the courtroom.

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